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Greetings and thank you in advance for any help!

I have been put in charge of a g-scale train at the local arboretum, brand new and I have no prior train knowledge. some of these forums are way over my head! Basic information is needed.

1. What is the difference between g-scale and g-gauge? how do i know which one I have? the track is about 1 and 3/4 inches wide- some of the boxcars have slightly different wheel width is there way to adjust that?

2. What is the best way to clean the actual cars? like the top of the engine and cars are dirty can there are a lot of cracks and bumps to dust between? I am thinking wet sponge? can you use soap on these guys? what about like a paint brush or something?

3. some of the boxcars are wobbly and look like they are going to tip over- is there a method of weighting them down? I was thinking pennies and one person in another forum was using rocks. any basic advice on this?

4. best way to reattach broken pieces? I was just gonna use superglue but I thought I would ask.

5. Both my engines squeak like **** and I have no idea what to do about it- I am guessing there is some sort of lubricant I can buy? would WD-40 work? any suggestions about what/when/where/how often?

6. Any regular maintenance tips or suggestions to keep these bad boys running smoothly would be much appreciated.

Please remember that I have no prior train knowledge and ANY help will be greatly appreciated! also if anyone is interested I can upload pictures of the amazing setup we have :D
 

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I must jump in real quick here and say DO NOT use WD-40 for lubrication! EVER!

It evaporates and leaves behind a sticky residue that increases friction and it also repels oil (so you can never lubricate it again!).
 

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Find a local club.

Where are you located? Someone here might be able to point you in the right direction.

Your questions will ultimately be answered here, but with great confusion to you, as there will be multiple answers which may conflict.

Your best chance to succeed in your endeavor is to talk to people one to one.

Chuck

1. What is the difference between g-scale and g-gauge? how do i know which one I have? the track is about 1 and 3/4 inches wide- some of the boxcars have slightly different wheel width is there way to adjust that?

G scale is largely recognized to have been developed by LGB. It was (is) based upon European Meter gauge and was close to 1:22.5. 45mm between the rails represents 1 meter in 1:22.5.

G gauge is the distance between the rail for our hobby, 45mm.

There are many scales that run on 45mm gauge track a few are as follows: 1:13.7 (Maine 2 foot gauge), 1:20.3 (North American 3 foot gauge), 1:22.5 (European Meter gauge), 1:24 (Cape Gauge, South Africa), 1:32 (modern standard gauge 4' 8.5"), the last mentioned is also modeled as 1:29 (This creates a slightly larger model, but is not correct). I like 1:29, I do not have any 1:32, but I have a lot of 1:29. There are others.

2. What is the best way to clean the actual cars? like the top of the engine and cars are dirty can there are a lot of cracks and bumps to dust between? I am thinking wet sponge? can you use soap on these guys? what about like a paint brush or something?

Start with soap and water on cars, not engines.

3. some of the boxcars are wobbly and look like they are going to tip over- is there a method of weighting them down? I was thinking pennies and one person in another forum was using rocks. any basic advice on this?

What type of cars, 2 axle or 4? Metal wheels will add weight and lower the center of gravity. I wouldn't add weight to the car unless it was absolutely necessary. It will increase ware on the journals.

4. best way to reattach broken pieces? I was just gonna use superglue but I thought I would ask.

It all depends on the material being glued; who made the cars and what are they made of?

5. Both my engines squeak like **** and I have no idea what to do about it- I am guessing there is some sort of lubricant I can buy? would WD-40 work? any suggestions about what/when/where/how often?

What engines, who made them, etc.? Where is the squeak; wheels, motor? To add to Semper's comment only use plastic compatible lubricants.

6. Any regular maintenance tips or suggestions to keep these bad boys running smoothly would be much appreciated.

Lubricate all the moving surfaces. It would help knowing the specific engines. The gears will require a gear grease and the journals and running gear will need a light oil.
 

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Greetings and thank you in advance for any help!

I have been put in charge of a g-scale train at the local arboretum, brand new and I have no prior train knowledge. some of these forums are way over my head! Basic information is needed.

1. What is the difference between g-scale and g-gauge? how do i know which one I have? the track is about 1 and 3/4 inches wide- some of the boxcars have slightly different wheel width is there way to adjust that?

2. What is the best way to clean the actual cars? like the top of the engine and cars are dirty can there are a lot of cracks and bumps to dust between? I am thinking wet sponge? can you use soap on these guys? what about like a paint brush or something?

3. some of the boxcars are wobbly and look like they are going to tip over- is there a method of weighting them down? I was thinking pennies and one person in another forum was using rocks. any basic advice on this?

4. best way to reattach broken pieces? I was just gonna use superglue but I thought I would ask.

5. Both my engines squeak like **** and I have no idea what to do about it- I am guessing there is some sort of lubricant I can buy? would WD-40 work? any suggestions about what/when/where/how often?

6. Any regular maintenance tips or suggestions to keep these bad boys running smoothly would be much appreciated.

Please remember that I have no prior train knowledge and ANY help will be greatly appreciated! also if anyone is interested I can upload pictures of the amazing setup we have :D
Welcome. Hope we can answer your questions allright.

I think Chuck N has done a pretty good job of answering your questions. I would say that if you are not familiar with makes and models of what you have, posting any pictures would certainly help us help you figure that out. Certain locomotives can have their quirks in particular, and knowing what you have can help us give you better information especially when it comes to the maintenance (certain manufacturers may recommend certain lubes for example).
 

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Greetings and thank you in advance for any help!

I have been put in charge of a g-scale train at the local arboretum, brand new and I have no prior train knowledge. some of these forums are way over my head! Basic information is needed.

1. What is the difference between g-scale and g-gauge? how do i know which one I have? the track is about 1 and 3/4 inches wide- some of the boxcars have slightly different wheel width is there way to adjust that?
Welcome to the most confusing part of the hobby! ;)
The terms are used in two different ways:

1.) the most common way, and they way you are probably thinking of, is the incorrect "generic" usage of the terms..which is:
They mean the same thing, they are completely interchangeable, people use both terms to mean the same thing, which is: Any train that runs on 45mm track.

2.) The technically correct version of the terms, which very few people use, and even less understand, but it is the proper and correct usage:
G scale means 1/22.5 scale *only*, and it refers to models of meter gauge prototypes running on 45mm track.
G gauge means 45 millimeters between the rails.

For now, you can simply go with version 1, its easier! ;)
just know there is no important difference between G scale and G gauge..all you really need to know right now is that they basically mean the same thing..

and instead of "G scale" the correct generic term that encompass all trains running on 45mm track would be "Large Scale"..
Its better to tell people "these are Large scale trains"..if you get a blank stare, you can then say "also known as G scale"..


2. What is the best way to clean the actual cars? like the top of the engine and cars are dirty can there are a lot of cracks and bumps to dust between? I am thinking wet sponge? can you use soap on these guys? what about like a paint brush or something?
Get two good quality soft bristled paintbrushs, one about 2" wide, and one about 1/2" wide. Use the larger one for general "sweeps" down the roof and sides of cars and locomotives, and the smaller one for getting dust out of nooks and crannies. Freight cars can also be sprayed down with a gentle hose..(dont spray locomotives though!)

3. some of the boxcars are wobbly and look like they are going to tip over- is there a method of weighting them down? I was thinking pennies and one person in another forum was using rocks. any basic advice on this?
Weight isnt the problem..adding weight wont fix wobbly cars..you to tighten up the trucks..there should be a screw visable holding on the wheel sets ("trucks") when you turn the car upside down..tighten one side so that the wheel set only turns from side to side, but not "up and down"..then make the second one slightly looser, so it has more free movement in all directions.

4. best way to reattach broken pieces? I was just gonna use superglue but I thought I would ask.
superglue is ok, if the cars wont be left out in the rain..

5. Both my engines squeak like **** and I have no idea what to do about it- I am guessing there is some sort of lubricant I can buy? would WD-40 work? any suggestions about what/when/where/how often?
You want a oil made specifically for model trains, a good hobby shop should carry it, make sure it says "plastic compatible" on the bottle.
Some gears will need grease, not oil, again there is a specific "model train grease" you can get..
We will need to know what your specific locomotives are in order to give more specific advice..any chance you could post some photos?

6. Any regular maintenance tips or suggestions to keep these bad boys running smoothly would be much appreciated.
Again, we would need to know what your locomotives are first in order to give any specific advice on that..

Sounds like a fun project! :)

Scot
 

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If I might be so bold as to recommend my book on Garden Railroading basics, that'd be a good reference to get you going. I would presume from your username that you're in the UK, so you may also want to look for books that are a bit more UK-centric. Tag Gorton is a well-respected author on things garden railroad related on that side of the pond.

The advice above is very good, and I've little to add to it in answer to your specific questions. Don't get too hung up over the "G gauge" vs "G scale" thing. While it's good that the "proper" explanation has been given, you can file that away for your own edification and enlightenment. Know that the two are used interchangeably, and often by folks who "should" know better.

Welcome aboard, and keep asking questions as they arise.

Later,

K
 

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have you tried checking to see if theres a local garden scale club around you..? or even a local model train club of any scale would probably be glad to invite you or come over to help out..
 

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To clean LGB rolling stock with no electronics inside, I put them in the dish washer.
I had several club members do this also and they are all amazed at how they come out looking like new.

And for engines, grease the gears, oil the axles, and do it sparingly, a little goes a long way. A lot actually creates problems!!
 

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Greetings and thank you in advance for any help!

the track is about 1 and 3/4 inches wide- some of the boxcars have slightly different wheel width is there way to adjust that?


Please remember that I have no prior train knowledge and ANY help will be greatly appreciated! also if anyone is interested I can upload pictures of the amazing setup we have :D
This was never addressed.

If there is a difference in the width of the wheels, and they are all "close" to 1-3/4" (i.e., not 0-gauge of 1-1/4"), they can be adjusted a bit.

Get a wheel gauge (Kadee makes one) and either press together or pull apart the wheels to attain the proper gauge, all around, so there is no wobble.
 

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I think it was JJ that made a quick and easy tool to adjust wheel spacing.
Using a C clamp, he cut a notch to clear the axle in the fixed end. The fixed end braced the wheel. The moving end with a pad is used on the proper axle end. Screwing the clamp adjusts the wheel position. Turn the axle around to change direction.
Clamp should be large enough to hold the axle length. Be aware of wheel insulation if solid axle, depending on where it is.

John
 

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Rocking cars.
If 8 wheels, the 4 wheel assemblies are called; trucks. Trucks are held on by screws in center of assembly from below. Turn car over.
Tighten one truck so that it can only rotate freely, but not rock. Leave the second truck loose enough to rock. This creates a 3 point suspension, the tight truck moves lift out to the wheels, while the kingpin (screw) is the other lift point, just like the farmers 3 legged stool, it no longer rocks.
John
 

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When looking at LGB 2 axle trucks, the side frames have 1 rigid and the other will flex.
Make sure the flex frames are on opposite sides of the cars.
The frame flexes a little in order to enable all 4 wheels to stay on uneven track. Whether this really works or not I do not know.
 

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Ukcollegestudent, if you would like to drop me a private message I,ll arrange for us to have a phone cat about your problems. I live in the uk too.
Whereabouts are you located?
Rod.
 
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